We are very different
Our small invitation tours are not only different, but they make a difference to the lives of the people you meet.
Uganda is one of Africa’s most beautiful countries with the friendliest and most welcoming people you could hope to meet.
At UP! we give you a very special opportunity to visit Uganda. It is a beautiful place with staggering scenery and wildlife, but it is the people that you will remember.
UP! is a win-win approach to Africa travel and funding community-led enterprise. Our small group hosted tours let us share our passion and understanding for this land and its uplifting people.
Why do we do this?
Our social enterprise UP! combines the passion of founders Iain Patton and Melissa Mills. We love Africa, its spell-binding landscape, fascinating wildlife and inspirational people.
But having worked and travelled in East Africa, we have seen first-hand the dependency and confidence-sapping effect of dependency on charity and aid. And today, we see in Uganda more and more educated young people with huge potential, but who are struggling to get an opportunity to start their business and community development dreams.
UP! addresses this and have created a connection between enterprising Ugandan communities and people who want to visit and better understand Africa and find a better way to partner with it.
About our approach
Focussing on North and East Uganda, UP! forms long-term partnerships with small Ugandan-led registered community development organisations. Uganda’s future is in the hands of its inspirational people and together we think that business solutions to poverty are better than charity. We will give you a rare and intimate opportunity to meet, engage with and generate lasting support with inspirational groups of Ugandans who are using business enterprise to solve poverty.
UP! has created a new and informed source of long term development investment to Northern and Eastern Uganda. We invite you to be a part of it.
Wildlife safaris and white water rafting on the Nile!
No trip to Uganda would be complete without an animal safari and for those inclined white water rafting on the river Nile. All our tours include time in the awesome splendour of African forest or savannah and the exhilaration of its birds and wildlife and opportunity to go rafting. After some traumatic years of war and bad political leadership, the national parks (and the animals!) are picking themselves up and tourism (and some great lodges) being established. This is a great time to visit Uganda: there simply are not the crowds found elsewhere. A couple of days in a national park is a great opportunity to stop, digest and reflect on all you have seen. It’s precious ‘thinking’ time and all part of a trip that is likely to change the way you see Africa for ever.
Your trip will make a long-term difference
10% of your tour fee is automatically contributed to the UP! Foundation. This fund is managed and invested in partnership with the Ugandan organisations you meet on tour. This gives them a small funding pot to invest in business enterprise at critical times of need.
Funding support is used sparingly and only after the self-help and local resource-base has been drawn upon and people are in need of a small external hand-up. Our experience is that investment hand-ups are more effective long-time than charitable hand-outs. An annual newsletter will give you feedback on how your donation has been used and the impact it has had.
The legacy of your trip will benefit many people over a long time. But we also hope that on your return home you will commit to making a monthly standing order to provide longer term support.